Substance Use Counseling

The Bigger Issue

Some teens who have struggled emotionally and socially have turned to drugs in an attempt to solve their problems. However, this inevitably creates more difficulties in the aftermath and often involves the forfeiting of healthy family relationships, education, friendships, and overall well-being. Whether a drug problem starts with poor coping skills or because of depression or anxiety, it is an obstacle that merits close individual attention. This is where Vista steps in.

The Professionals

Vista employs a fully-licensed substance use counselor. This is an individual who is specifically trained to target root problems and to sort through the obstacles that have contributed to the drug use. Upon admission to the program the counselor, in tandem with the primary therapist and our full time psychiatrist, will help determine the level of substance abuse that is to be addressed in therapy. From there, a student is placed on one of two tracks: The "A Track" or "Abuse Track" is designed for students who have struggled with substance abuse but not to the extent that it is the primary focus of treatment. "D track" or "Dependency Track" students have a more clinically significant history of drug use, and it is typically the primary focus of their treatment.

Dependency track

Students on the Dependence track meet with their counselor each week. They are required to attend two substance abuse education groups each week, as well as two AA or NA meetings. In addition, they have a once a month family therapy session specific to substance abuse.

Abuse Track

Student's on the Abuse track meet with their counselor every other week. The also attend at least one substance abuse education group weekly, as well as a weekly AA (Alcoholic's Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting.

12 Steps - The Proven Model

At Vista, we use a modified 12-step model to target substance abuse. We say modified because our 12-step model goes above and beyond the norms. We incorporate additional assignments on topics such as triggers, codependency, addictive patterns, and justification. The beauty of the 12-step program at Vista is that the skills, language, and culture transfer to anywhere in the country.

Learn more about this model at